3 Essential Tricks To Sharpen Images in Photoshop

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

No matter which camera or lens you use, you can always amp up the sharpness of any image as long as you know a few essential techniques. In this article, learn 3 tools that will help to sharpen any photo effectively in Photoshop and make your images more attractive!

Smart Sharpen

Smart Sharpen is the #1 place to go for image sharpening. It gives you more control over the sharpening you wish to apply with the ability to remove the kind of blur that may have affected the image (Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, and Lens Blur).

To use Smart Sharpen, open your image and go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen. Adjust the settings according to what works best for the original image. Here I’ll be using the settings:

  • Amount 200%
  • Radius: 1px
  • Reduce Noise: 10%

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Hit Ok when you’re finished. Take a look at the incredible difference below.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Enjoy that amazing crisp, quality to your photos with reduced Noise.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

High Pass Layers

If you want to be a little more creative with your sharpening and allow yourself the ability to only sharpen certain areas of the image, then be sure to incorporate High Pass layers. With High Pass layers, you can selectively sharpen an image for non-destructive photo editing.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

To use High Pass, select the background layer and hold Control-J to create a duplicate called Layer 1. Select Layer 1 and go to Filter > Other > High Pass. Adjust the Radius to 3 pixels and hit Ok.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Now to apply the sharpening, simply set the Layer Blend Mode for Layer 1 to Overlay. Feel free to adjust the Opacity to decrease or increase this effect. Check out a quick comparison below.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Another added benefit of these layers is that they also bump up the contrast!

Unsharp Mask

The last tool you can use for a quick solution is the Unsharp Mask option. This option creates contrasted edges by using a technique that subtracts a blurred copy from the original. Though it doesn’t necessarily allow for greater control in the overall image, it can still be used to sharpen your work.

To use the Unsharp Mask, open your image and go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Just like with Smart Sharpen, adjust the settings according to what works best for your photo. Here I’ll be using these settings:

  • Amount: 100%
  • Radius: 1 px
  • Threshold: 0 levels

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Hit OK and you’re done! Check out the incredible difference this quick tool makes in the comparison below.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorialAnd here’s the final image! A little goes a long way, so bring out the best features of your photos with Unsharp Mask.

sharpen image tips 123rf photoshop tutorial

Remember these essentials tricks for your next photo op and you’ll be on your way to crisp, high-definition images in no time! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Let us know what your favorite tools are for sharpening images in Adobe Photoshop!

Other Photoshop Tips You Might Find Useful:

Top 5 Tips Every Beginner To Photoshop Must Know

How To Create And Use Custom Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Best Practices: Reduce File Size

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